Friday, December 14, 2018


Hanging out at the bike shop is always fun.  A shared love a cycling gives any bike shop a unique sense of community....bringing all types of people, from all ages and backgrounds, together.  It's a place where you feel welcome and accepted.  I've always felt that sense of "community" and "belonging" at Gung Ho Bikes...which is one of the reasons why I was so excited to be welcomed as a part of the staff there this year.  Working at the shop feels as if I'm giving back the the community...whether it's in the form of building a new bike a child's birthday present, tuning up someone's bike for a summer of riding, or teaching a customer how to fix a flat tire.  I basically just feel good about sharing my love for cycling and the outdoors with people.  But, last week, this sense of giving back to the local communty was taken to a whole new level for me.  

The staff of Gung Ho Bikes:  Ryan, Penny, Jay, Jim, Clark, Ben, Dave, and Joel. -- December 5, 2018

Last Tuesday, when I showed up for my evening shift, I helped Jay and Clark pull over two hundred used bicycles out of storage and carry them down to the shop level.  These bikes (which had been donated to the shop over the course of the past twelve months) were about to get, some TLC from the staff at Gung Ho Bikes.  The plan, conceived by Penny and Jay Zech, the owners of Gung Ho Bikes, was to convert as many of these bikes as possible back to riding condition so that they could then be...for lack of a better word...recycled back into the community for people who were in need of them.  

A sea of donated bikes, waiting to be fixed up, occupied the sales floor at Gung Ho Bikes last Tuesday and Wednesday. -- Decmeber 5, 2018

Ben and Clark fixing a couple of the donated bikes. -- December 5, 2018

Jim Seevers putting the finishing touches on this BMX bike. -- December 5, 2018

Ryan and Jay working out on the floor. -- December 5, 2018

The donated bikes ready to be picked by local charities in the community.  Photo by Penny Zech. -- December 7, 2018

Everyone on the staff showed up on Wednesday evening and donated their time to fix up the sea of bicycles that covered the floor of the bike shop.  It was the first time, since I've been there, that all eight employees were there and working together...laughing, joking, and fueled by a lot pizza (thank you Penny & Jay.) I think what amazed me the most was how quickly and efficiently we were able to transform over 150 unwanted bicycles into what could end up being a child's first bike...or possibly transportation for an adult who needs a reliable way to work.  For some people...just having a reliable bicycle is a game changer.  I wasn't able to be there last Friday when all of the bikes that we worked on were lined up outside of the shop for local charities to pick up...but I didn't need to be to know that what the staff  of Gung Ho Bikes did last week truly made a difference in the lives of a lot of people...and this holiday season, I'm so proud that I was able to be part of it.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 14, 2018

Jay, Ben, and  Clark taking a pizza break. -- December 5, 2018

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Sunday, December 2, 2018


We all need "me time," but nothing pulls me out of a seasonal depression funk better than time with family and friends.  I think about this a lot this time of year the sun sets earlier and the temps hover around the freezing point... the amount of time that I spend outdoors and the frequency that I am able to get together with friends to soak in some Vitamin N drastically decreases.  A little GROUP THERAPY can go a long doesn't matter if it's a hike in the woods with my family or hitting the trails with the guys in my mountain biking circle...togetherness feels amazing.  So yeah...nothing seems better for my mind and body than doing things that I love, in places that I love, with people that I love (yes...that includes you too, Glenn).  So, here are (in no particular order) some pics of recent group therapy spanning the past two years.  Enjoy!

Taken after we had just finished riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest...this photo ranks as one of my all-time favorite group pics.
 Back:  Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, and  Matt Linnane.  Front:  Dave Raymond -- August 15, 2017

A rafting trip on the Youghiogheny River has become an annual's four-ish hours of of wild and fun group therapy!
 Left to right:  Devin Seiger, Alex Raymond, Chris Lowe, Dave Raymond, & Cliff the Guide. -- June 19, 2018

Local hikes at Rocky Ridge County Park provide easy access to Vitamin N and group therapy.
 Left to Right:  Alex Raymond, Emma Sadowski, Dave Raymond, & Robin Raymond. -- November 4, 2018

Taking a break along Gargamel's Trail in Michaux State Forest to listen to one of Glenn's stories.
 Left to Right:  Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, and Matt Linnane -- July 25, 2017

Pausing during an extremely hot and humid hike on Beech Trail in Ohiopyle State Park.
 Left to Right:  Mike Graham, Alex Raymond, Dave Raymond, and Devin Seiger. -- June 20, 2018

Time for some extreme cold group therapy with my neighbors.  Mike Alicea, Brent Shirk, and I braved single digit temps to ride a few miles on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Our faces were frozen...but we were smiling on the inside! -- December 28, 2017

My kids are all I jump at the chance to share my love for the outdoors with my neices and nephew.  This past summer, Robin and I took them to Ohiopyle State Park for a weekend camping trip...which included a super cool hike down and around Cucumber Falls.
 Left to Right:  Sophie, Jackie, Isaac, Robin, and Dave Raymond.  -- June 30, 2018

Group Therapy comes in all forms...even in the form of fixing one of Tim's flat tires while riding in Michaux State Forest.
 Left to Right:  Ben Kelly, Tim Sindlinger, and Dave Raymond. -- July 10, 2018

Hiking to the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest is always a treat.  It was especially fun with this group.
 Left to right:  Alex Raymond, Emma Sadowski, Blythe Arnold-Scott, Dave Raymond, & Mike Graham. -- August 1, 2018

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, and Matt Linnane pausing for a pic in Swatara State Park at the exact spot in which Tim and I met Matt a few years prior.  -- June 6, 2017

Matt Linnane, Tim Sindliner, Adam Zeigler, and I were all smiles as we donned our best holiday attire for our first ever UGLY SWEATER RIDE.  Thanks to the never-ending rain, this ride on the HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER TRAIL SYSTEM was one of the muddiest recent memory!  -- December 2, 2018

Some post-adventure food and group therapy at our campsite in Ohiopyle State Park.  Good food and great friends!
  Left to Right:  Chris Lowe, Mike Graham, Alex Raymond, Dave Raymond, Devin Seiger, and Cliff the Guide. -- June 19, 2018

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 2, 2018

Some of the best group therapy happens at the GUNG HO BIKES.  Nothing beats fixing and selling bikes with the group of guys that I have the privilege to work with.  Left to right:  Jim Seevers, Dave Raymond, and Ben Kelly. -- November 29, 2018

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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, WHITE WATER ADVENTURES, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.